If you followed our earlier post about the cleaning chemicals that can cause problems on the metal surfaces accenting the beauty of your building, you’ll want to check out today’s tips on how best to clean bronze, copper, and stainless steel in between professional metal refinishing or metal maintenance services.

Whether you have bronze, copper, or stainless steel, if a protective clear lacquer finish has been applied, cleaning and maintenance should be minimal. Here are guidelines for you and your cleaning crews to follow:

Items needed:

  • Microfiber towels
  • Dawn or a similar, very mild liquid detergent
  • 2 buckets

Cleaning steps:

  • Use a very small amount of Dawn cleaning detergent in a bucket of water. With a damp (not dripping wet) microfiber, wipe the surface clean in the direction of the metal’s grain.
  • Use the 2nd clean bucket for water to rinse. With a different damp microfiber, wipe clean, again in the direction of the grain.
  • Finally dry any excess moisture with a clean dry microfiber.

Note: If you are waxing or mopping floors near your metal surfaces, we recommend that you follow the above steps to wipe any materials, chemicals, or moisture that is splashed onto the metal from the work on the floors. Wax and dirty mop water is very damaging if left to dry on metal, as well as wood bases or stone.

Never use the following:

  • Chemicals
  • Stainless steel spray cleaner
  • Windex, ammonia or peroxide based products
  • Any abrasive cleaners
  • Abrasive pads or cloths


Remember that the above steps are for lacquered metal. Bronze and copper should have a lacquer to protect it from turning brown and tarnishing from fingerprints, food, or other oils it comes in contact with. For stainless steel there is the possibility that the metal has not been lacquered, and for those instances, here are some cleaning tips to follow.

Items needed:

  • Microfiber towels
  • Stainless steel cleaner such as Sheila Shine

Cleaning steps:

  • Lightly spray stainless steel cleaner such as Sheila Shine onto a microfiber cloth. Then apply on the metal surface by wiping in direction of grain. Don’t spray the cleaner directly onto the metal.
  • Lightly buff off with a second clean microfiber to make sure that cleaner is not running.

We hope that these pointers help keep your metal its brilliant best. If you have any additional questions, we’d love to hear them. Email us at contact@kcrestoration.com